Seasonal News & Tips

Check back often for seasonal tips about what's going on in our area, updates on local pest and disease outbreaks, weather impacts, and more.

What's Next?

Things are constantly changing in Northeast Ohio - weather, pests, and tree diseases all affect your landscape. Stay on top of what's going on so you can keep your trees and yard safe, healthy and beautiful.

There's no spam, we promise!

Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.

Blog Topics

  • All
  • Best Trees for Northeast Ohio
  • Company & Community
  • Seasonal Tips: Fall
  • Seasonal Tips: Summer
  • Seasonal Tips: Winter
  • Spring Tips for Tree & Landscape Care
  • Tree & Landscape Care
  • Tree Pests & Diseases
A healthy green decidious tree with red fruit growing in Ohio.

How to Keep Landscape Shrubs & Ornamental Trees Looking Their Best

Beautiful landscape shrubs and ornamental trees don’t happen on their own. They need regular pruning to look their best. Learn why, when, and how to properly prune woody shrubs and smaller trees to keep them looking good all year long.
Read More
Black maple tar spot dots on green maple leaves.

Spots on Leaves – Are They Bad for Your Tree?

Spots on tree leaves are an unsightly summer problem that can also be symptoms of a serious underlying disease or issue. By knowing what's causing the spots and how to treat and prevent leaf spot problems, you'll have a healthier tree that requires less maintenance in the long run.
Read More
Independent Tree employee applying deep root fertilization to shrubs

Does Deep Root Fertilization Really Work?

What's the best way to deliver fertilizer, water, and soil amendments to a tree? Does it matter how healthy the tree is, where it's located, what the weather's like, etc.? You may be surprised at the answer!
Read More
An Independent Tree climber prunes large trees in Ohio during the summer.

Can You Prune Trees in Summer in Northeast Ohio?

Many trees can be pruned in summer. Learn why and when to do summer tree trimming, plus which trees should NOT be trimmed in summer.
Read More

Tree and Shrub Fertilization FAQs: What, Why, When & How

Do trees in your yard need to be fertilized? What kind of fertilizer is best for trees and shrubs? What happens if trees aren't fertilized? When is the best time of year to apply fertilizer to trees in northeast Ohio? How should you do it? Keep reading for answers to those questions about fertilizing trees - and many more!
Read More
A redbud tree with spring blossoms grows amongst other trees and plants.

Tree Planting Tip: Buy the Right Size Tree

We’re often asked whether it’s better to plant a larger tree than a small one, especially if you want it to make an impact in your landscape more quickly. In this tree planting tip article, we explain how to choose the best size tree to plant and why.
Read More
Independent Tree crew member spreading wood mulch around the base of a conifer tree.

Using Wood Chips as Mulch: FAQs

Wood mulch is a layer of organic material used to cover the soil surface. This post answers all your questions about wood chips and wood mulch, how it benefits your garden, what to do (and not do!) with it, how to find it locally, and more.
Read More
Trees bent over by the weight of snow after a snowstorm in Newbury, Ohio.

Helping Bent-Over Trees Recover From Ice & Snow Loads

We cover what you need to know about dealing with snow and ice-damaged trees or shrubs (bent over, broken, leaning, etc.), plus how to prevent snow and ice damage in the first place.
Read More
Trees in winter with snow on the ground.

How to Bring Color and Life to your Northeast Ohio Winter Landscape

We share our favorite ways to bring color and dimension to your winter landscape, as well as tips to provide valuable food and shelter for wildlife.
Read More
A bald eagle perches on the top branches of a snag, or dead tree in Ohio

How Dead Trees Benefit Wildlife [Even on Your Own Property!]

Learn how dead trees support the environment, safety considerations, and what to do with a dead tree on your property to help wildlife (removal may not be the only or best option!).
Read More
dead tree branches against a blue sky

How to Tell if a Branch is Dead or Alive

Signs that indicate whether a branch or twig is dead or just dormant, why it's important to know the difference, and what to do if it's dead.
Read More

My Conifers Are Losing Needles! Should I Be Concerned?

Learn what’s normal when it comes to evergreen conifers losing needles, why it happens, and when to be concerned about dropped needles.
Read More

Why Do Tree Leaves Change Color in Fall?

Learn why and how leaves on deciduous trees change color and then drop to the ground in fall (hint: it's caused by pigments).
Read More
Chlorosis shows up as dark green veins on lighter green leaves on this dogwood tree in Ohio

Chlorosis in Trees & Shrubs: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

If your tree's leaves turn yellow while the veins stay green, it's probably chlorosis. Learn what causes it, how to distinguish chlorosis from other leaf problems, ways to prevent it, and how to treat the symptoms.
Read More
tar spot fungus on sycamore maple leaves - green leaves with dark spots looking up into the tree

Maple Tar Spot: Identification, Prevention & Treatment

If the leaves on your maple trees have dark, round spots that look like they’ve been splashed with tar, it’s probably a fungal disease called maple tar spot. Learn what to look for, how it spreads, and what to do about it.
Read More

Ticks in Northeast Ohio: How to Avoid Being Bitten by a Disease-Carrying Tick

The incidence of tickborne diseases is rising across northeast Ohio. Learn how to spot and remove a tick, when and where they're active, the diseases they carry, how to protect yourself, and tick control options to keep them off your property.
Read More
healthy organic soil being raked

Is Your Soil Healthy? How to Tell & Why it Matters

Soil health has a huge impact on plant health and appearance. Keep your trees healthy by learning what soil is, how to identify healthy soil, ways to improve poor soil (most urban & suburban soil falls in this category), fertilizer use, and more.
Read More
Close up of red flowers on a branch of flowering quince, a type of shrub that can be rejuvenation pruned every few years

Rejuvenation Pruning of Shrubs: Answers to All Your Questions

What is rejuvenation pruning? We cover what it is; why, when, and how to do it; frequency; which shrubs benefit (and which will die!); caring for the shrub afterwards; and more.
Read More
Construction equipment, the frame of a new building, and piles of dirt near a grove of trees

How to Protect Trees During Construction

Proper tree protection during a construction project can save you thousands of dollars in tree repair, removal & health care after the project is finished.
Read More

Independent Tree’s Extra Precautions in Response to COVID-19

We are still open for business! ... and doing our part to flatten the curve. To ensure that everyone stays safe, we have implemented several new procedures to minimize direct contact.
Read More
apple scab on a crabapple tree

Apple Scab: Identification, Prevention & Treatment

Apple scab is a common and easily-spread disease affecting apples & crabapples in northeast Ohio. Learn the symptoms, how to prevent it & treatment options.
Read More
An Independent Tree employee uses PHC truck injections to protect a home from pests and diseases

What is Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for Trees?

IPM is an important part of creating a healthy and beautiful landscape using the least toxic and more sustainable methods possible. This article covers all the details as it relates to your trees and our PHC program.
Read More
Frost-covered evergreen tree in Northeast ohio

Winter Tree Care Tips for Northeast Ohio

Our top recommendations for winter tree care, including plant protection, preventing ice, snow, wind and salt damage, winter pruning, hazardous tree identification (before winter storms arrive!), and more.
Read More
apple branch with fire blight

Fire Blight: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

If new foliage on your fruit trees or ornamental shrubs looks like it has been torched, or if there are patches of dead foliage and twigs in an otherwise healthy-looking tree crown, you might be looking at fire blight. If so, here is important information about the possible cause and what to do about it.
Read More
boxwood frost anti desiccant

Anti-Desiccant Spray For Winter Protection: Do Your Broadleaf Shrubs Need It?

Winter burn on broadleaf shrubs isn’t pretty; bleached leaves, browning edges, and dying plants don’t look good in the landscape. Thankfully, anti-desiccant sprays can prevent most winter damage to shrubs. Here's what you need to know about anti-desiccant use in the Northeast Ohio landscape.
Read More
fallen leaves autumn

Don’t Send Fallen Leaves to the Landfill [What To Do Instead]

What's the best way to deal with piles of fallen leaves in autumn? It's not by sending them to the landfill! Here are four options to make best use of all those fallen leaves.
Read More

Avoid These Pruning Mistakes That Can Kill Your Trees

Protect the health and appearance of your trees by avoiding the most common pruning mistakes. It's easy when you know the proper pruning techniques (including what NOT do to), the right tools to use, when to prune and why you're doing it.
Read More
green trees lining a path

The Many Surprising Benefits of Trees

We all appreciate trees - in a distracted, not-really-noticing-them kind of way. But did you know they not only provide shade, they also have the same cooling effect as 10 air conditioners, make you feel 7 years younger, lower crime, prevent erosion and increase your property value? And that's just the beginning!
Read More
japanese beetles skeletonizing a leave

Control & Prevent Japanese Beetles in Your NE Ohio Landscape

If you've noticed that tree and shrub leaves are starting to look like tattered lace, it's probably caused by Japanese beetles feeding on your plants. Starting in late June, these voracious pests can quickly skeletonize an entire shrub, as well as decimate flowers and ripe fruit. Learn to identify Japanese beetles and what you can do to control and prevent infestations.
Read More
looking up a large sequoia trees

How to Choose the Right Tree & Planting Location For Your Northeast Ohio Landscape

As professional arborists called to tackle tree problems large and small, we’ve noticed something: most of the issues that we encounter stem from the wrong tree being in the wrong place. To help avoid this issue in the future, we’ve put together this guide to help you ensure that you are planting the RIGHT tree in the RIGHT place.
Read More
small suburban yard with trees

Best Trees for Small Spaces in Northeast Ohio

One of the biggest mistakes we see when trees are planted is that the full-grown size of the tree is underestimated. If you have a smaller yard or want to plant a tree near a walkway, deck, house, overhead wires, or other structures, you'll need to choose a tree that stays small. Here are our top recommendations for smaller trees that do well in northeast Ohio.
Read More
elm tree leaves

Preventing & Treating Dutch Elm Disease in Northeast Ohio

There's no cure for Dutch Elm Disease but there are some things a Certified Arborist can do to slow or prevent its spread. Learn how to keep your elm tree safe and healthy with these helpful tips.
Read More
gypsy moth egg mass

What Happens to Insect Pests During Northeast Ohio Winters?

Given how cold winters can be in northeast Ohio, you’d think insect pests would be killed by the frigid temperatures. But while some insects (such as wasps, yellowjackets, and crickets) are decimated by the cold, many others manage to survive the deep freeze. And when spring arrives, they’re ready to start breeding and eating your plants! That’s why winter is a good time to inspect your trees, shrubs and landscape plants for evidence of overwintering insect pests. By identifying problems before the pests emerge in spring, you can prevent the situation from getting worse.
Read More
dormant trees in winter

Why Trees Go Dormant Over Winter

We use the phrase “winter dormancy” a lot, especially when talking about why it’s good to prune trees during the winter (dormant pruning). But what does it really mean? And why is dormancy important?
Read More

Education & Networking: TCI EXPO 2018

Each November, we head off to the world's largest tree care tradeshow and conference, TCI EXPO. It's three days of classes, product demonstrations and networking with fellow tree care professionals from across the country. Check out the photos of all the huge equipment!
Read More
damage caused by white pine weevie

White Pine Weevil in Northeast Ohio: Identification and Control

Is the top of your pine tree wilting, turning brown and/or dying? If so, the culprit is probably the White Pine Weevil. Learn how to identify white pine weevil damage and control the pests to prevent recurring damage.
Read More
trees for fall color in NE Ohio

Five Best Northeast Ohio Trees For Colorful Fall Foliage

What would fall be without the autumnal change from green to brilliant shades of orange, gold, red, and purple? Colorful fall leaves are almost magical and especially nice when the prettiest trees are planted in your own yard. That’s why we created this list of the best landscape trees for fall color in our part of the country! Our favorites are well-adapted, Northeast Ohio native trees sure to perform beautifully in our area. Any of these five beauties will add big color to your fall landscape.
Read More

Tree Autopsy: An Arborist’s Version of CSI

Ever wondered what the inside of tree looks like? Or how to tell from the outside whether it's dead or alive on the inside? Take a look inside dissected trees from our Tree Autopsy workshop!
Read More
fall plant checklist birch foliage

A Quick Checklist to Keep Trees Healthy This Fall

Many new trees are planted across Northeast Ohio during fall, which is wonderful! However, it's important to remember that your newly planted trees will rely on you to help them grow and thrive. Follow this checklist to keep all of your trees, both new and old, healthy during the fall season and into winter.
Read More
Healthy Eastern Hemlock tree

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Facts for Northeast Ohio

A tiny pest is causing huge problems for hemlocks in northeast Ohio. If you have any hemlock trees on your property, the hemlock woolly adelgid (pronounced uh-DEL-jid) may already be destroying them. First discovered in Ohio in 2012, these minuscule pests may appear insignificant at first, but they can kill an entire tree in as little as a single season, or slowly kill it over many years.
Read More
lichen on branch

Is Lichen On Trees Harmful?

Lichen commonly grows on trees in northeast Ohio. Find out what lichen is, why it's on your tree, if it's harming the tree and what to do about it.
Read More
beech tree leaves

Beech Leaf Disease in Northeast Ohio

Have you noticed recent changes in your beech trees? The leaves may be curling, withering, and drying long before fall foliage changes should begin. Or maybe you’ve noticed dark lines on beech tree leaves. Both are signs of beech leaf disease (BLD) that's affecting beeches in NE Ohio. Here are the known facts.
Read More
mulch wood chips

How to Properly Apply Mulch Around Your Trees

Mulch is one of the least appreciated, but most important additions to the landscape, with many benefits for trees and your landscape. Unfortunately, it's often used incorrectly, leading to plant disease, damage and even death. Learn what mulch is, how to use it and what to avoid.
Read More
spring buds on tree

Spring Tree Care Tips For Northeast Ohio

March marks our transition from winter to spring, and it's a good time to start taking care of your spring tree care needs. Here are the things you can do each spring to keep your trees healthy, safe and beautiful.
Read More
schedule plant health care in february

It’s February: Time To Plan Spring Tree & Shrub Treatments (Yes, Really!)

It may still be winter but spring is just around the corner. And with spring comes insect pests and diseases. February is the time to plan and schedule spring tree & shrub treatments to prevent insect and disease problems. Here's our treatment schedule for northeast Ohio showing when to treat specific insect pests, fungal issues and diseases.
Read More
evergreen holly berries

The Benefits of Evergreens in the Winter Landscape

During our long Northeast Ohio winters, it can seem like everything outside is hibernating. The trees have lost their leaves, the water is frozen over, and a blanket of snow covers everything. But evergreen trees and shrubs are still alive, colorful, and vibrant during these gray winter months, creating visual interest in the landscape and providing a host of other benefits.
Read More
winter pruning northeast ohio independent tree

6 Benefits of Winter Tree Pruning

It’s a common misconception that tree maintenance cannot be done during the winter months. In reality, winter and early spring is a perfect time for many tree care jobs, especially pruning and tree removals.
Read More

Protecting Your Trees During Deer Mating Season

During fall, bucks rub their antlers on young trees, causing considerable damage and even killing the trees. Find out what you can do to protect your trees from deer antler rubbing.
Read More
fall planting tips

Fall Planting Guidelines for Northeast Ohio

The autumn season—late August through mid-October—is an ideal time to plant in Northeast Ohio. The key is to plant the right things the right way. Here are our recommendations for what to plant and how to care for it.
Read More

The Effects of Heat Stress on Your Trees

Are your trees suffering from heat stress? Just like people experience heat stress or heat stroke, so do trees. Here are the signs that your trees need help.
Read More
summer tree care

Summer Tree Care in Northeast Ohio: Dos and Don’ts

When summer arrives we’re all excited to enjoy the beautiful, warm-weather season in the Cleveland area. But remember that as the weather changes, so should your tree care and maintenance efforts. Don't assume that your trees will enjoy the summer season as much as you do unless they get a little bit of extra care and attention. Here's a quick list of summer tree care dos and don’ts to keep in mind this summer.
Read More
planting a tree

How to Properly Plant a Tree

“We have seen thousands of fine trees planted with a few dry roots crowded into a little hole scooped out of sod and covered with the same. This is called planting? When will such abomination cease?” – H. Garrison (1875). Illinois State Hort. Soc. 9: 366-371. So, you want to plant a new tree or shrub?…
Read More
oak trees infected with oak wilt disease

Preventing Oak Wilt in Northeast Ohio

Oak Wilt is a deadly fungal disease that has put all oak trees in northeast Ohio at risk. Once infected, there’s no known cure for Oak Wilt – so prevention is the best option for saving your oak trees. OAK WILT RESOURCES >> Learn More 4 Steps To Prevent Oak Wilt Infection 1. Avoid Pruning…
Read More
spring-flowering trees for northeast ohio

Best Spring-Flowering Trees To Plant in Northeast Ohio

The best spring-flowering trees are low maintenance, long-lived, and offer multiple seasons of interest here in Northeast Ohio. With many options to choose from, here are our four favorites.
Read More
maple syrup production northeast ohio

How Do Northeast Ohio Maple Trees Make Syrup?

Have you ever wondered where maple syrup comes from? This time of year in Chardon or other Northeast Ohio towns, you will notice many of the maple trees have small metal buckets attached, or a plastic tubing system running from tree to tree. Those tubes and buckets are collecting sap from the maple trees, which…
Read More
snow and salt damage to trees

How To Prevent Salt Damage to Trees & Shrubs

Each winter, thousands of tons of de-icing salt are applied to state and municipal roads in Northeast Ohio in an effort to keep roads dry, ice-free and safe for drivers. We also use rock salt and other de-icing materials on our own properties to clear walkways, driveways, patios and parking areas. But salt has a…
Read More

Winter Protection for Trees & Shrubs

Here in Northeast Ohio, our trees and shrubs face a whole range of threats during winter, both from the weather itself and from animal pests. Cold dry winds can dry out trees, especially evergreens The weight of heavy snow and ice breaks branches, leading to a damaged and unsightly plant Road salt and spray damages leaf tissue…
Read More

Schedule Your Spring Horticultural Oil Treatment to Keep Overwintering Bugs at Bay

One of the easiest and most effective ways of protecting your landscape from insect damage is with a light application of dormant or horticultural oil. Apply it in spring as pests are emerging from summer dormancy but before bud break.
Read More
fall planting northeast ohio

Fall Tree Planting Dos and Don’ts for Northeast Ohio

Fall is a recommended time of year for tree planting in many regions, including Northeast Ohio. The climate is typically cool and trees have plenty of time to establish their roots before the heat and rain of spring arrives to stimulate their top growth. It can be very easy to be so excited to plant your new trees that you ignore certain planning steps or potentially overlook an important task that could protect your tree and help it grow strong. Here are the dos and don't to get it done correctly.
Read More
aphids on a branch

How to Combat 4 Common Summer Tree Pests

Late June marks the official start of the summer season, often signaling consistently warm temperatures in Northeast Ohio. Unfortunately, June also marks the arrival of many summer pests. If you see strange markings or abnormalities on your tree, as detailed below, do not ignore them. The following are just a few of the many pests…
Read More
honey bee pollinating a flower

Honey Bees and Your Landscape: What You Need to Know

  Honeybees are an important part of the ecology in Northeast Ohio. Facts About Honey Bees Honey bees are the top pollinators. Honey bees provide nearly 80 percent of pollination in the United States. Bees collect pollen, which is produced by flowering plants, and use it as food. In the process, they pollinate many of…
Read More

Common Spring Diseases Affecting Trees in Northeast Ohio

From late April to early May, your trees should be sprayed or injected in order to control and prevent damage from fungal diseases like apple scab, anthracnose and cedar-hawthorn rust.
Read More

Six Signs That It’s Time to Remove Your Tree

Look for these 6 things to help decide whether a tree can be saved or should be removed. It's not always obvious so call in an arborist if you're not sure.
Read More
large trees celebrated on Arbor Day

Five Ways to Celebrate Arbor Day

  Every spring, you can join with others across Northeast Ohio in celebrating the very special holiday of Arbor Day. Have you made your plans yet? While there are many ways that you and your family can celebrate the day, we have compiled some of our favorite options. 1. Plant a tree! In the spirit…
Read More
apple blossoms against blue sky in spring

Why You Should Fertilize Trees in Spring

There are many reasons to consider spring fertilizer applications for your trees and shrubs, especially if they're newly-planted, stressed, growing in poor soil or a tough environment, or have been damaged over the winter.
Read More
trees in Northeast Ohio damaged by snow and ice

How to Care for Trees Damaged by Winter Snow and Ice

    Heavy snow and ice during the winter months can be particularly devastating to trees and other landscaping around your home. Broken branches, trees that have split apart, leaning trees, and even fallen trees happen every winter. While you, unfortunately, cannot control the weather in Northeast Ohio, you can take action to help your…
Read More
acorn and bright maple leaves

Autumn Weather Brings … Nuts!

We're fortunate in northeast Ohio to have many trees that develop nuts each fall. Hickory, oak and pine are just a few. From them we get food, dye and more. So this year, why not harvest them instead of raking them into bags for disposal?
Read More